A pull-out poster of Liverpool’s Senegalese star Sadio Mane.
looked an almost certainty, but the resilient Bloemfontein outfit clawed their way back into the contest, netting two goals in the last fifteen minutes to earn a hard-earned point as Sam picked up his second Man-ofthe-Match award in a row. “I played well in all the matches so far, but none of them at the level I want,” the modest player says. “But as the season goes on, things will get better and my engine will warm up because I’m still a little nervous. In fact, in the match against Pirates I was really nervous, but when I scored that goal, the pressure wore off. It was do-or-die for me – that was the day I had been waiting for all my life. “Against Chiefs it was difficult because it was away from home and it was the first time we conceded this season. That was our best game as we showed character. The coach told us at half-time that we could still win the game, and we had chances to do so. We believed him because he is someone who always pushes you to believe you can do better. Had that match gone on a little bit longer, we would have earned an even better result.” With the new season still in its early stages, it will be premature to talk about Sam as a future Bafana Bafana prospect. Yet the idea of Celtic picking up some sort of silverware this season under Komphela is not far-fetched, according to Sam. “Our pre-season was great – the results we are getting now prove that,” he says. “There were difficult moments, but we had to carry on because the coach was prepared to work with us. During the off-season there were so many stories that Celtic could be sold, but coach Steve and his technical team played a huge role in supporting us and telling us to focus on our job and not other things. He was encouraging us all the way – yes it was difficult, but we saw it as a test that we had to pass. “I know that we can’t talk about winning the league right now, but that is one of the things I wish could happen. Everyone wants to win the league and we also want to win it.”